12 Travel Essentials You Should Never Go Without

By Justin Hun  •  July 09, 2014

Traveling to new and exciting places can be a fun experience to remember for the rest of your life. The only challenge is being prepared for it. Whether you’re planning on backpacking across the country or thinking about flying to Tokyo for the first time—there are things you need to bring if you don’t know what might be in store. As a dedicated traveler and enthusiast, I’ve compiled a few things I’ve taken with me on my travels as well as some handy gadgets you might want to have on you in new territories. Here’s a comprehensive list of travel essentials you should use on your next trip.


Travel Essentials

Handyman To-go

Victorinox Signature Lite Swiss Army Knife: $29.83 at Amazon.com

If anyone knows about being prepared it’s the Swiss. Victorinox has been making Swiss Army Knives for 130 years—so you know they mean business. This signature knife in particular is small and compact that can just dangle on your keychain. It’s got everything essential including blade, scissors, pen, and bright LED flashlight. It’s definitely a must-have even for your everyday business.

Hydration Source

Brita Sport Water Filter Bottle: $7.99 at Amazon.com


Brita is a big name in water filters. They’ve even found a way to get their filters outside of the kitchen into your daily commute. The Brita Sport Water Filter Bottle is an exceptional and affordable bottle that you simply just pour water into and gets filtered immediately. Filters are inexpensive and last about 2 months before you have to replace them. So if you feel unsure about drinking from the fountains, relax and drink since Brita has your back.

The Only Computer You Need

Apple iPad Mini 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB: $269.87- $369.99 at Amazon.com

The iPad Mini is a great device to have because it does everything from holding your personal information to providing useful apps like notebooks, sketchpads and games. During my own travels, I found that my iPad became my personal buddy. You can watch movies without running out of battery and enjoy its small size. Because it’s so thin and compact, you can just grab a stylus and sketch away. It weighs just below 11 ounces. Just be sure to find a nifty case for it if you plan on using it a lot.

Record Your Travels

GoPro Hero3 White Edition: $199.99 at GoPro.com

GoPro has been reaching new heights with the beating it can take. Virtually, it can take on pretty much anything you can imagine. GoPro’s campaign has made it possible to film still images that you only thought were possible in movies. You can mount in on your helmet, hook it on your surfboard, drag it in the sand, or even throw it out with you off an airplane. This little gadget records in 3 different qualities including 1080p and has a WiFi remote that can be controlled from your smartphone. Film everything! You’re only limited to what you think you can’t do with it.

Look at This Photograph!

Nikon 1 J3 14.2 Mega-Pixel HD Camera: $379.95 at B&H.com

If you plan on taking photos of the sceneries, then I highly recommend the Nikon 1 J3. After working in a theme park for several years and using a variety of cameras, the Nikon 1 J3 is one that I see a lot and enjoy. It’s simple to use, light and small. The focus is adjustable and interchangeable from the 10-30mm to the massive 10-100mm for distant images. It even records in 1080p. Nikon allows you to easily share images and videos with your smartphone or tablet device via Wi-Fi. Have the perks of an expensive SLR camera without having to spend for it.

Foreign Exchange Adapter

ibattz Mojo Slim Travel Adapter: $39.95 at ibattz.com

Traveling abroad can be tricky besides confusing languages and hotel booking—you’ve got to plug in your electronics somehow. But in Europe they use a weird socket and all you have is an AC plug. The Mojo Slim by ibattz is an adapter that has all those funky plugs in one. It even comes with a USB, so you can charge your laptop and phone at the same time. Best of all, it’s small and thin making it easier to hide it safely at the bottom of your bag.

Never Run Without Juice

IOGEAR 10k GearPower: $49.43 at Amazon.com

If you’ve got your phone attached to your hands, then you know that your phone battery is going to run out eventually. My personal favorite gadget is the IOGEAR 10k GearPower – it has a whopping 11,000mAH, which allows it to charge up two USB devices fully and still have some juice to spare. It’s thick like a pocket bible, making it bigger than most portable chargers. However,  it works so well the size and weight don’t matter too much. It even includes a battery indicator to let you know when it’s time to charge. It just might be awhile until you have to.

How Do You Say?

Menospeak Booklet or App: $9.95 at Menospeak.com or $3.95 at iTunes Store

Let’s say you’re in Japan and have no clue how to ask to get to the hotel or for the most part, which sign means the bus stop. Menospeak figured out that you could use some help. Their small booklets contain simple how-to-say phrases as well as point-to pictures. They’ve even got an app you can buy for your phone or tablet if you don’t like things outside the digital realm.

It’s Got Your Back

OGIO Backpack (Squadron 15 shown): $50-$150 at OGIO.com

Your devices are your prized possessions during your travels. You want to make sure they’re safe, secure and comfortable during the trip. OGIO makes great backpacks along with luggage and bags. This Squadron 15 bag is made specifically for a 15inch laptop, but they also have shoulder bags that are little bit smaller and lighter. I recommend this because I use it every day as it holds all my possessions. It fits my camera, tablet, multiple chargers, sunglasses, wallet, keys, and a bunch more safely into the foam and padded pockets. It’s well worth the investment if you want to keep your things altogether with security.


There’s an App For That

When in doubt your smartphone can bail you out. If you’ve found yourself stranded in a new place, then there are a few apps that might come handy.

Google Maps (Free):

Google Maps is a great little app as well as online direction guide to get you to where you want. It gives directions and time estimates based on current traffic or road situation. In response to its users’ demands, the app has gotten new update that allows individuals to map out multiple stops along their routes.

Yelp (Free):

If you’re looking for a restaurant or just a hip new bar to go to, then Yelp it. They provide reviews as well as images and menu samples, so you know what you’re getting into.

The Converted ($2.99):

Ideon has made a simple and stylish app that allows you to convert currency as well as units so you won’t have to wonder how much to tip. It’s as easy as setting the country and getting the results. 

Justin Hun Justin Hun Justin Hun has an obsession with food and books—especially books about food. His favorite past times include watching the Food Network and researching for ways to save money and be cheap.

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